Choros #12

Appleby Catalogue W number: 
W233

This sprawling work contains lots of great stuff: big tunes, interesting rhythms, and felicitous bits of orchestration.  Choros #12 isn't well enough known yet for us give a definitive verdict about its true value.  I happen to think that the Choros series is the absolute pinnacle of Villa-Lobos's body of works.  My impression, from having listened to this work fairly closely, is that #12 is in the second tier of Choros, and perhaps not up to the level of #1, 5, 8, and 10.  Still, it's a valuable work and one of Villa's great, big orchestral "things".

This excellent Amazon.co.uk review by Bert Berenschot (whose opinion I value very highly!) is a good introduction to the work.

The work was dedicated to Jose Candido de Andrade Muricy.

You can listen to Choros #12 in this archived radio program (streaming Windows Media format) from Portugal's Antena 2:

Jul 12, 2008
Choros Nº3
Picapau; Nº12 ; Nº5 and Nº2

 

Year Composed: 
Category: 
Choros
Orchestral Works
Instrumentation: 
2 piccolos 3 flutes 3 oboes English horn
3 clarinets bass clarinet 2 saxophones 3 bassoons
contrabassoon 8 horns 4 trumpets 4 trombones
tuba timpani tam-tam cymbals
cuica bombo xylophone tambor
celesta 2 harps piano strings
Scores: 

The work is published by Max Eschig.  The autograph score (227 pp.) is in the Museu Villa-Lobos.

Recordings: 

Great news: a new recording of this great piece, and from an excellent source: Complete Choros v.3 (BIS)

For years the only modern recording of this work: Pierre Bartholomee conducts the Liege Philharmonic Orchestra in a 2000 recording from Cypres.  Luckily, this is an excellent recording.  Unluckily, the Amazon.com note is "This item has been discontinued by the manufacturer."  So we'll need to watch out for left-over stock in online and real-world stores, and to check out used stores and eBay.

 

Performances: 

This would be an expensive work to stage; there are no records in the HVL Concert Calendar as of August 2008.

An important historic performance: February 23, 1945 - Villa-Lobos conducted the premiere of Choros No. 12 with the Boston Symphony.